Listening through words or: The short (and nearly hastened) but invigorated Journey of Leon, who made it through the Cable by 7oi8
Soundartist 7oi8 from Düsseldorf made a musical piece in regard of the question wether language can affect or predetermine the way we listen to music:
„Meaning generated by words. What would the music be without words?“
In this case it is the title of the track that can be a guidance to the perception. Even though I’m sceptic wether language may have such a strong influence on our listening, I generally find it interesting to think about this. Since I was confronted with John Cage statement that people are not able to separate the aural perception from other senses like the visual it seems reasonable to me to state that this conception can be also transferred from our way of perceiving music onto our way of reproducing music. If I try to apply Ludwig Wittgenstein’s sentence: „The boundary of my language represents the boundary of my world.“ onto music it is obvious that it appears nearly impossible to describe or communicate about music without using words. Nevertheless this is a thought of dealing with music in an interactive social context. I don’t think that in general our mechanisms of thinking are necessarily determined and therefore limited by language. Leaving the theories of the language of thought or Wittgenstein’s private language aside, the question is, how can I experience something as music without using language? Even the thought: „I want to listen to some music.“ is incorporating words and a linguistic structure. Regarding Cage’s statement this question can be answered quite simply by stating somebody just has to listen to sounds to create music in his perception even without an actual formulated thought in the mind. With this it is more a matter of focussing attention than creating a rational perception. But at last it doesen’t seem that easy to me. Often the mind reacts in more than one direction when the senses are sending information. For the example of music I would say that it may be true that while listening to it the mind is producing linguistic or at least likewise structures for organising the impressions. But at the same time it can be building emotional, visual, haptic etc. structures linked with the impression of the sounds we generally call music. Fixing this in an abstract way I would say that language can be an integral part of dealing with music but yet definetely not the only one.
DEGEM Record Release: Seltene Erden
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Elektroakustische Musik e.V. DEGEM latest release features my friend Marcus Beuter who made a contribution with his piece schmerz. Here are some words about the concept:
Als Seltene Erden bezeichnet man 17 Metalle, die aufgrund ihrer spezifischen Eigenschaften zu unverzichtbaren Rohstoffen für Hightech-Produkte wie Smartphones, Notebooks und Plasmabildschirme geworden sind. Auch in Motoren und Generatoren für Elektro- und Hybridfahrzeuge, in Windkraftturbinen, Katalysatoren, Energiesparlampen, Fotoapparaten und nicht zuletzt in Lautsprechern finden sie Verwendung. Ihre Gewinnung ist teuer, aufwändig und hat verheerende ökologische Auswirkungen. Abgesehen von der Zerstörung von Landschaft müssen die stets im Verbund mit anderen Erzen und Mineralien auftretenden Metalle unter großem chemischen Aufwand und unter Erzeugung radioaktiver Abfälle extrahiert werden.
He also contributed a piece entitled car wash for the world listening day 2014 sampler of the online label Green Field Recordings. It is available for free on their website.
Selfportrait: Raffael Seyfried in 3′ or art as deconstruction
The students at the Institut für Musik und Medien in Düsseldorf produced some short films portraying themselves. My friend Raffael Seyfried characterized his one mostly by his elaborated use of video and audio glitches. His concept for the video is rather short but clear:
Kunst ist Selbstbeschäftigung. Selbstbeschäftigung ist Dekonstruktion.
Abandoned Audio Online Release: Metamachine
Berlin based label Abandoned Audio has released the results of a very interesting collaboration between european electronic artists and tokyo based fine artists including Atsushi Koyama and Macoto Murayama. The style of this project is marked by blueprint and architectal-like paintings of mechanical and organic structures for example lenses, eyes and flowers. The musical part features artists like Echoton and Pachyderme whose contributions are beautiful pieces characterized by aphoristic down-tempo rhythms and atmospheric glitch structures. A very interesting combination between visual and auditive aspects of both art forms:
„Abandoned Audio and Toyko based Frantic Gallery join forces to present Metamachine, a series of audio/visual works and their research into the collaborative possibilities between electronic music and contemporary art. International musicians working with a vast range of techniques from field recordings to algorithmically programmed sound textures meet Japanese artists active in the field of oil painting and digital art. The results of this cooperation are 6 video works that will be presented online as well as showcased in art exhibitions taking place in Singapore, Berlin and Tokyo during 2014. The aim and triggering point of this project derives from the urge to understand the possibilities of the collaboration between fine arts and (contemporary / electronic) music. The idea behind Metamachine is not only to create audio/visual pieces, but also research different ways of combining sound and images influenced by two different artistic fields and cultures.“
The tracks can be downloaded here for free. I also recommend to check out the videos for a complete impression of the concept: